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Best Unit to get experience in prior to Adult Gero Primary Care NP School


Hey everyone,

I am planning on going back to school for Adult Gerontological Primary Care NP. I am a travel nurse currently working in an ICU/CCU. My background includes almost 2 years of nursing in Burn ICU & MICU/CCU. I plan to settle down very soon and work full time somewhere. However, I want to make sure that where I work full time is a great unit to help prepare me for school. Therefore, I was just wondering if anyone has any advice or suggestions on which unit I should work full time at in order to provide me with great experience and to help prep me for AGPCNP school. Thanks in advance!

aok7, NP

Has 12 years experience.

I am currently in my third semester of an Adult-Gero Primary Care Program at U Cincinnati. I work on a PCU in a hospital, but most of my 6 years as a nurse have been out-patient. Most of my contacts and all of my mentors for guidance and preceptor opportunities are from my out-patient days. The reason I work in the hospital is because I want to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible as a RN before my NP days. My hospital only hires ACNPs and PAs, and this is aligned with the guidance in the profession as a whole, as primary-prepared work in primary settings and ACNPs work in hospital-type settings. Of course, there are the outliers.

I would ask why you want primary care and then see what may be available as a RN toward that direction. I love working with the geriatric population and am interested in women's health and ageism in general. I worked in long-term care, sub-acute care, hospice home health, in the hospital the ACE Unit (Acute Care Elderly), and now the PCU. I plan to work in a sub-acute or even home health type setting as a NP. That's me!

I do want to add, the development of core nursing values and thinking in general are essential toward becoming a good NP (in my opinion), but I find that the actual nursing role has little to do with the didactic material of NP school. You have to think like a provider. I read physician notes at work (I did before NP school like most nurses do, but read them differently now) and I force myself to imagine if I were ordering meds or putting the puzzle together then look at what the provider actually did, etc. My NP friends say that the best job for NP school is the one that lets you study the most/allows flexibility.

Good luck!

Edited by aok7